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Understanding plasticity and fracture in aluminum alloys and their composites by 3D X-ray synchrotron tomography and microdiffraction

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Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in

Aluminum alloys and their composites are attractive materials for applications requiring high strength-to-weight ratios and reasonable cost. Many of these applications, such as those in the aerospace industry, undergo fatigue loading. An understanding of the microstructural damage that occurs in these materials is critical in assessing their fatigue resistance. Two distinct experimental studies were performed to further the understanding of fatigue damage mechanisms in aluminum alloys and their composites, specifically fracture and plasticity. Fatigue resistance of metal matrix composites (MMCs) depends on many aspects of composite microstructure. Fatigue crack growth behavior is particularly dependent on the reinforcement characteristics and matrix microstructure. The goal of this work was to obtain a fundamental understanding of fatigue crack growth behavior in SiC particle-reinforced 2080 Al alloy composites. In situ X-ray synchrotron tomography was performed on two samples at low (R=0.1) and at high (R=0.6) R-ratios. The resulting reconstructed images were used to obtain three-dimensional (3D) rendering of the particles and fatigue crack. Behaviors of the particles and crack, as well as their interaction, were analyzed and quantified. Four-dimensional (4D) visual representations were constructed to aid in the overall understanding of damage evolution. During fatigue crack growth in ductile materials, a plastic zone is created in the region surrounding the crack tip. Knowledge of the plastic zone is important for the understanding of fatigue crack formation as well as subsequent growth behavior. The goal of this work was to quantify the 3D size and shape of the plastic zone in 7075 Al alloys. X-ray synchrotron tomography and Laue microdiffraction were used to non-destructively characterize the volume surrounding a fatigue crack tip. The precise 3D crack profile was segmented from the reconstructed tomography data. Depth-resolved Laue patterns were obtained using differential-aperture X-ray structural microscopy (DAXM), from which peak-broadening characteristics were quantified. Plasticity, as determined by the broadening of diffracted peaks, was mapped in 3D. Two-dimensional (2D) maps of plasticity were directly compared to the corresponding tomography slices. A 3D representation of the plastic zone surrounding the fatigue crack was generated by superimposing the mapped plasticity on the 3D crack profile.

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2014

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Role of defects interactions with embrittlement species in iron: a multiscale perspective

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Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations

Hydrogen embrittlement (HE) is a phenomenon that affects both the physical and chemical properties of several intrinsically ductile metals. Consequently, understanding the mechanisms behind HE has been of particular interest in both experimental and modeling research. Discrepancies between experimental observations and modeling results have led to various proposals for HE mechanisms. Therefore, to gain insights into HE mechanisms in iron, this dissertation aims to investigate several key issues involving HE such as: a) the incipient crack tip events; b) the cohesive strength of grain boundaries (GBs); c) the dislocation-GB interactions and d) the dislocation mobility.

The crack tip, which presents a preferential trap site for hydrogen segregation, was examined using atomistic methods and the continuum based Rice-Thompson criterion as sufficient concentration of hydrogen can alter the crack tip deformation mechanism. Results suggest that there is a plausible co-existence of the adsorption induced dislocation emission and hydrogen enhanced decohesion mechanisms. In the case of GB-hydrogen interaction, we observed that the segregation of hydrogen along the interface leads to a reduction in cohesive strength resulting in intergranular failure. A methodology was further developed to quantify the role of the GB structure on this behavior.

GBs play a fundamental role in determining the strengthening mechanisms acting as an impediment to the dislocation motion; however, the presence of an unsurmountable barrier for a dislocation can generate slip localization that could further lead to intergranular crack initiation. It was found that the presence of hydrogen increases the strain energy stored within the GB which could lead to a transition in failure mode. Finally, in the case of body centered cubic metals, understanding the complex screw dislocation motion is critical to the development of an accurate continuum description of the plastic behavior. Further, the presence of hydrogen has been shown to drastically alter the plastic deformation, but the precise role of hydrogen is still unclear. Thus, the role of hydrogen on the dislocation mobility was examined using density functional theory and atomistic simulations. Overall, this dissertation provides a novel atomic-scale understanding of the HE mechanism and development of multiscale tools for future endeavors.

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2015

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Multiscale modeling of mechanical shock behavior of environmentally-benign lead-free solders in electronic packaging

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With the increasing focus on developing environmentally benign electronic packages, lead-free solder alloys have received a great deal of attention. Mishandling of packages, during manufacture, assembly, or by the user may cause failure of solder joint. A fundamental understanding of

With the increasing focus on developing environmentally benign electronic packages, lead-free solder alloys have received a great deal of attention. Mishandling of packages, during manufacture, assembly, or by the user may cause failure of solder joint. A fundamental understanding of the behavior of lead-free solders under mechanical shock conditions is lacking. Reliable experimental and numerical analysis of lead-free solder joints in the intermediate strain rate regime need to be investigated. This dissertation mainly focuses on exploring the mechanical shock behavior of lead-free tin-rich solder alloys via multiscale modeling and numerical simulations. First, the macroscopic stress/strain behaviors of three bulk lead-free tin-rich solders were tested over a range of strain rates from 0.001/s to 30/s. Finite element analysis was conducted to determine appropriate specimen geometry that could reach a homogeneous stress/strain field and a relatively high strain rate. A novel self-consistent true stress correction method is developed to compensate the inaccuracy caused by the triaxial stress state at the post-necking stage. Then the material property of micron-scale intermetallic was examined by micro-compression test. The accuracy of this measure is systematically validated by finite element analysis, and empirical adjustments are provided. Moreover, the interfacial property of the solder/intermetallic interface is investigated, and a continuum traction-separation law of this interface is developed from an atomistic-based cohesive element method. The macroscopic stress/strain relation and microstructural properties are combined together to form a multiscale material behavior via a stochastic approach for both solder and intermetallic. As a result, solder is modeled by porous plasticity with random voids, and intermetallic is characterized as brittle material with random vulnerable region. Thereafter, the porous plasticity fracture of the solders and the brittle fracture of the intermetallics are coupled together in one finite element model. Finally, this study yields a multiscale model to understand and predict the mechanical shock behavior of lead-free tin-rich solder joints. Different fracture patterns are observed for various strain rates and/or intermetallic thicknesses. The predictions have a good agreement with the theory and experiments.

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2011

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Influence of thermal aging on the microstructure and mechanical behavior of dual phase precipitation hardened powder metallurgy stainless steels

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Increasing demand for high strength powder metallurgy (PM) steels has resulted in the development of dual phase PM steels. In this work, the effects of thermal aging on the microstructure and mechanical behavior of dual phase precipitation hardened powder metallurgy

Increasing demand for high strength powder metallurgy (PM) steels has resulted in the development of dual phase PM steels. In this work, the effects of thermal aging on the microstructure and mechanical behavior of dual phase precipitation hardened powder metallurgy (PM) stainless steels of varying ferrite-martensite content were examined. Quantitative analyses of the inherent porosity and phase fractions were conducted on the steels and no significant differences were noted with respect to aging temperature. Tensile strength, yield strength, and elongation to fracture all increased with increasing aging temperature reaching maxima at 538oC in most cases. Increased strength and decreased ductility were observed in steels of higher martensite content. Nanoindentation of the individual microconstituents was employed to obtain a fundamental understanding of the strengthening contributions. Both the ferrite and martensite hardness values increased with aging temperature and exhibited similar maxima to the bulk tensile properties. Due to the complex non-uniform stresses and strains associated with conventional nanoindentation, micropillar compression has become an attractive method to probe local mechanical behavior while limiting strain gradients and contributions from surrounding features. In this study, micropillars of ferrite and martensite were fabricated by focused ion beam (FIB) milling of dual phase precipitation hardened powder metallurgy (PM) stainless steels. Compression testing was conducted using a nanoindenter equipped with a flat punch indenter. The stress-strain curves of the individual microconstituents were calculated from the load-displacement curves less the extraneous displacements of the system. Using a rule of mixtures approach in conjunction with porosity corrections, the mechanical properties of ferrite and martensite were combined for comparison to tensile tests of the bulk material, and reasonable agreement was found for the ultimate tensile strength. Micropillar compression experiments of both as sintered and thermally aged material allowed for investigation of the effect of thermal aging.

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2011

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Mechanical shock behavior of environmentally-benign Pb-free solders

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The mechanical behavior of Pb-free solder alloys is important, since they must maintain mechanical integrity under thermomechanical fatigue, creep, and mechanical shock conditions. Mechanical shock, in particular, has become an increasing concern in the electronics industry, since electronic packages can

The mechanical behavior of Pb-free solder alloys is important, since they must maintain mechanical integrity under thermomechanical fatigue, creep, and mechanical shock conditions. Mechanical shock, in particular, has become an increasing concern in the electronics industry, since electronic packages can be subjected to mechanical shock by mishandling during manufacture or by accidental dropping. In this study, the mechanical shock behavior of Sn and Sn-Ag-Cu alloys was systematically analyzed over the strain rate range 10-3 - 30 s-1 in bulk samples, and over 10-3 - 12 s-1 on the single solder joint level. More importantly, the influences of solder microstructure and intermetallic compounds (IMC) on mechanical shock resistance were quantified. A thorough microstructural characterization of Sn-rich alloys was conducted using synchrotron x-ray computed tomography. The three-dimensional morphology and distribution of contiguous phases and precipitates was analyzed. A multiscale approach was utilized to characterize Sn-rich phases on the microscale with x-ray tomography and focused ion beam tomography to characterize nanoscale precipitates. A high strain rate servohydraulic test system was developed in conjunction with a modified tensile specimen geometry and a high speed camera for quantifying deformation. The effect of microstructure and applied strain rate on the local strain and strain rate distributions were quantified using digital image correlation. Necking behavior was analyzed using a novel mirror fixture, and the triaxial stresses associated with necking were corrected using a self-consistent method to obtain the true stress-true strain constitutive behavior. Fracture mechanisms were quantified as a function of strain rate. Finally, the relationship between solder microstructure and intermetallic compound layer thickness with the mechanical shock resistance of Sn-3.8Ag-0.7Cu solder joints was characterized. It was found that at low strain rates the dynamic solder joint strength was controlled by the solder microstructure, while at high strain rates it was controlled by the IMC layer. The influences of solder microstructure and IMC layer thickness were then isolated using extended reflow or isothermal aging treatments. It was found that at large IMC layer thicknesses the trend described above does not hold true. The fracture mechanisms associated with the dynamic solder joint strength regimes were analyzed.

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2012

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Microstructural and mechanical property characterization of Laser Additive Manufactured (LAM) rhenium

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This report will review the mechanical and microstructural properties of the refractory element rhenium (Re) deposited using Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM). With useable structural strength over 2200 °C, existing applications up to 2760 °C, very high strength, ductility and chemical

This report will review the mechanical and microstructural properties of the refractory element rhenium (Re) deposited using Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM). With useable structural strength over 2200 °C, existing applications up to 2760 °C, very high strength, ductility and chemical resistance, interest in Re is understandable. This study includes data about tensile properties including tensile data up to 1925 °C, fracture modes, fatigue and microstructure including deformation systems and potential applications of that information. The bulk mechanical test data will be correlated with nanoindentation and crystallographic examination. LAM properties are compared to the existing properties found in the literature for other manufacturing processes. The literature indicates that Re has three significant slip systems but also twins as part of its deformation mechanisms. While it follows the hcp metal characteristics for deformation, it has interesting and valuable extremes such as high work hardening, potentially high strength, excellent wear resistance and superior elevated temperature strength. These characteristics are discussed in detail.

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2012

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Characterization of local deformation in Pb-free solder joints using three dimensional (3D) X-ray microtomography

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Pb-free solder joints are commonly used as interconnects in semiconductor packaging. One of the major defects affecting the mechanical performance of solder joints are reflow pores that form during processing. These pores exhibit significant variability in size and distribution, and

Pb-free solder joints are commonly used as interconnects in semiconductor packaging. One of the major defects affecting the mechanical performance of solder joints are reflow pores that form during processing. These pores exhibit significant variability in size and distribution, and understanding the effects of pore geometry on failure is an important reliability concern. In this thesis, the pore microstructures of solder joint samples and the localized plastic deformation around individual pores was characterized in 3D using lab scale X-ray Microtomography. To observe the deformation of a solder joint in 3D, a solder joint was imaged with Microtomography after reflow and then deformed in shear in several loading steps with additional tomography data taken between each. The 3D tomography datasets were then segmented using the 3D Livewire technique into regions corresponding to solder and pores, and used to generate 3D models of the joint at each strain value using Mimics software. The extent of deformation of individual pores in the joint as a function of strain was quantified using sphericity measurements, and correlated with the observed cracking in the joint. In addition, the error inherent in the data acquisition and 3D modeling process was also quantified. The progression of damage observed with X-ray Microtomography was then used to validate the deformation and failure predicted by a Finite Element (FE) simulation. The FE model was based on the as-reflowed tomography data, and incorporated a ductile damage failure model to simulate fracture. Using the measured sphericity change and cracking information obtained from the tomography data, the FE model is shown to correctly capture the broad plastic deformation and strain localization seen in the actual joint, as well as the crack propagation. Lastly, Digital Image Correlation was investigated as a method of obtaining improved local strain measurements in 3D. This technique measures the displacement of the inherent microstructural features of the joint, and can give localized strain measurements that can be directly comparable to that predicted by modeling. The technique is demonstrated in 2D on Pb-Sn solder, and example 3D data is presented for future analysis.

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2012

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Early age characterization and microstructural features of sustainable binder systems for concrete

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Concrete is the most widely used infrastructure material worldwide. Production of portland cement, the main binding component in concrete, has been shown to require significant energy and account for approximately 5-7% of global carbon dioxide production. The expected continued increased

Concrete is the most widely used infrastructure material worldwide. Production of portland cement, the main binding component in concrete, has been shown to require significant energy and account for approximately 5-7% of global carbon dioxide production. The expected continued increased use of concrete over the coming decades indicates this is an ideal time to implement sustainable binder technologies. The current work aims to explore enhanced sustainability concretes, primarily in the context of limestone and flow. Aspects such as hydration kinetics, hydration product formation and pore structure add to the understanding of the strength development and potential durability characteristics of these binder systems. Two main strategies for enhancing this sustainability are explored in this work: (i) the use of high volume limestone in combination with other alternative cementitious materials to decrease the portland cement quantity in concrete and (ii) the use of geopolymers as the binder phase in concrete. The first phase of the work investigates the use of fine limestone as cement replacement from the perspective of hydration, strength development, and pore structure. The nature of the potential synergistic benefit of limestone and alumina will be explored. The second phase will focus on the rheological characterization of these materials in the fresh state, as well as a more general investigation of the rheological characterization of suspensions. The results of this work indicate several key ideas. (i) There is a potential synergistic benefit for strength, hydration, and pore structure by using alumina and in portland limestone cements, (ii) the limestone in these systems is shown to react to some extent, and fine limestone is shown to accelerate hydration, (iii) rheological characteristics of cementitious suspensions are complex, and strongly dependent on several key parameters including: the solid loading, interparticle forces, surface area of the particles present, particle size distribution of the particles, and rheological nature of the media in which the particles are suspended, and (iv) stress plateau method is proposed for the determination of rheological properties of concentrated suspensions, as it more accurately predicts apparent yield stress and is shown to correlate well with other viscoelastic properties of the suspensions.

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2014

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Quantifying electromigration processes in Sn-0.7Cu solder with lab-scale X-ray computed micro-tomography

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For decades, microelectronics manufacturing has been concerned with failures related to electromigration phenomena in conductors experiencing high current densities. The influence of interconnect microstructure on device failures related to electromigration in BGA and flip chip solder interconnects has become a

For decades, microelectronics manufacturing has been concerned with failures related to electromigration phenomena in conductors experiencing high current densities. The influence of interconnect microstructure on device failures related to electromigration in BGA and flip chip solder interconnects has become a significant interest with reduced individual solder interconnect volumes. A survey indicates that x-ray computed micro-tomography (µXCT) is an emerging, novel means for characterizing the microstructures' role in governing electromigration failures. This work details the design and construction of a lab-scale µXCT system to characterize electromigration in the Sn-0.7Cu lead-free solder system by leveraging in situ imaging.

In order to enhance the attenuation contrast observed in multi-phase material systems, a modeling approach has been developed to predict settings for the controllable imaging parameters which yield relatively high detection rates over the range of x-ray energies for which maximum attenuation contrast is expected in the polychromatic x-ray imaging system. In order to develop this predictive tool, a model has been constructed for the Bremsstrahlung spectrum of an x-ray tube, and calculations for the detector's efficiency over the relevant range of x-ray energies have been made, and the product of emitted and detected spectra has been used to calculate the effective x-ray imaging spectrum. An approach has also been established for filtering `zinger' noise in x-ray radiographs, which has proven problematic at high x-ray energies used for solder imaging. The performance of this filter has been compared with a known existing method and the results indicate a significant increase in the accuracy of zinger filtered radiographs.

The obtained results indicate the conception of a powerful means for the study of failure causing processes in solder systems used as interconnects in microelectronic packaging devices. These results include the volumetric quantification of parameters which are indicative of both electromigration tolerance of solders and the dominant mechanisms for atomic migration in response to current stressing. This work is aimed to further the community's understanding of failure-causing electromigration processes in industrially relevant material systems for microelectronic interconnect applications and to advance the capability of available characterization techniques for their interrogation.

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2015

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Properties of cerium containing lead free solder

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With increasing concerns of the intrinsic toxicity of lead (Pb) in electronics, a series of tin (Sn) based alloys involving silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) have been proposed as replacements for Pb-Sn solder and widely accepted by industry. However, they

With increasing concerns of the intrinsic toxicity of lead (Pb) in electronics, a series of tin (Sn) based alloys involving silver (Ag) and copper (Cu) have been proposed as replacements for Pb-Sn solder and widely accepted by industry. However, they have a higher melting point and often exhibit poorer damage tolerance than Pb-Sn alloys. Recently, a new class of alloys with trace amount of rare-earth (RE) elements has been discovered and investigated. In previous work from Prof. Chawla's group, it has been shown that cerium (Ce)-based Pb-free solder are less prone to oxidation and Sn whiskering, and exhibit desirable attributes of microstructural refinement and enhanced ductility relative to lanthanum (La)-based Sn-3.9Ag-0.7Cu (SAC) alloy. Although the formation of RESn3 was believed to be directly responsible for the enhanced ductility in RE-containing SAC solder by allowing microscopic voids to nucleate throughout the solder volume, this cavitation-based mechanism needs to be validated experimentally and numerically. Additionally, since the previous study has exhibited the realistic feasibility of Ce-based SAC lead-free solder alloy as a replacement to conventional SAC alloys, in this study, the proposed objective focuses on the in in-depth understanding of mechanism of enhanced ductility in Ce-based SAC alloy and possible issues associated with integration of this new class of solder into electronic industry, including: (a) study of long-term thermal and mechanical stability on industrial metallization, (b) examine the role of solder volume and wetting behavior of the new solder, relative to Sn-3.9Ag-0.7Cu alloys, (c) conduct experiments of new solder alloys in the form of mechanical shock and electromigration. The research of this new class alloys will be conducted in industrially relevant conditions, and the results would serve as the first step toward integration of these new, next generation solders into the industry.

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2012